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Remove Search.gg virus (Removal Guide) - updated Oct 2018

removal by Alice Woods - - | Type: Browser hijacker

Search.gg – a browser hijacker that might share the gathered information about you

Search.gg virus

Search.gg is a bogus search engine that people see once their Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox or Safari browser gets hijacked by a potentially unwanted application.[1] These dubious apps are typically hidden in software bundles of shareware or freeware, hence users rarely notice the infiltration. Nevertheless, once inside the system, Search.gg will modify browser settings and set homepage, search engine and new tab address to hxxps://search.gg, which will redirect all searches to Yahoo. While many might find this behavior acceptable, only a few would be happy about secret information gathering and sharing, potential malware infiltration and the intrusive advertisement techniques used by the app.

Summary
Name Search.gg
Type Browser hijacker/PUP
Developer Search Engage Ltd.
Affected browsers Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Opera, Mozilla Firefox, etc.
Distribution Software bundling
Symptoms Altered search settings, intrusive ads, compromised search results
Elimination Use security software or eliminate the PUP manually using our guide below
Optimization Use PC optimizing software like Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego

Designed by Search Engage Ltd, Search.gg browser hijacker is only made for one purpose: to generate revenue by displaying advertisements and rerouting users to sponsored websites. This activity artificially increases website stats, improving the website visit rate. Unfortunately, some redirects can bring users to unsafe sites, as developers do not take any responsibility for the third-party content:

You further acknowledge and agree that Search Engage shall not be responsible or liable, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with use of or reliance on any goods or services available on or through any external website, social network or resource. Your use of external websites or resources is at your own risk.

Although browser hijackers claim not to be using personal data[2] for market analysis, remember that your search queries might contain some details that can reveal your identity. If you do not want to share such details with suspicious companies such as Search Engage Ltd., never enter any sensitive details while your browser is taken over by Search.gg hijack.

Even tough the Search.gg virus redirects all searches to Yahoo (a perfectly legitimate search engine), the results might be covered in sponsored links. This makes finding relevant information a difficult task, esepcialy when the computer is running multiple potentially unwanted programs at the same time. Thus, simply remove Search.gg from your machine and use legitimate Yahoo or other legitimate search engine instead.

Search.gg redirect virusResearcher shows Search.gg virus and its Privacy Policy document. The suspicious search tool attempts to track user's search queries and browsing preferences in order to deliver targeted advertising.

Beware that clicking on sponsored search results can take you to highly hazardous web pages and by visiting them you pose a threat to the computer system. In other words, Search.gg browser hijacker won’t do anything illegal on your computer and it won’t itself infect your computer with additional spyware/malware[3] programs, however, it might show you a path to websites that seek to do so.

That is the main reason why computer security experts[4] advise to perform Search.gg removal without any hesitations. You can eliminate the threat by following our instructions below this article, or by using malware removal tools. Additionally, we advise users to scan their machines with Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego after the infection – it can fix broken registry entries or other corrupted files left behind by the unwanted program.

Prevent installation of potentially unwanted programs

Potentially unwanted programs cannot enter your computer system without your permission, which means that you have lately agreed to install some suspicious programs without realizing it. This suggests that you should be more careful when installing new software on your computer.

In fact, you can end up installing this highly vague search tool even when installing a completely safe-looking free program. For this reason, we suggest paying more attention to software installation settings and choosing the right ones. Instead of selecting Standard, Default or Express settings, better switch the selection to Custom or Advanced mode. Then you should see a list of suggested programs and then deselect the ones that you do not want to install. After unchecking all shady-looking programs, proceed to the next installation step.

Search.gg browser hijackerThose who are interested in the TOS and Privacy Policy can view both documents on the official website. However, not many people do so in order to understand the impact of the program on the user and his/her computer.

Quick Search.gg removal solution

Before you start taking actions regarding Search.gg removal, we highly suggest reading the tutorial we provided first. The guide provided below the article explains how to find files that belong to Searchgg and successfully eliminate them.

In case you are not ready to waste your time on potentially unwanted programs, and you would rather do something else instead, command an anti-spyware software to remove Search.gg virus for you. If you do not have such software yet, check out suggestions provided below the post.

You may remove virus damage with a help of Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego. SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner and Malwarebytes are recommended to detect potentially unwanted programs and viruses with all their files and registry entries that are related to them.

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Compatible with Microsoft Windows Supported versions Compatible with OS X Supported versions
What to do if failed?
If you failed to remove virus damage using Reimage Intego, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Reimage Intego has a free limited scanner. Reimage Intego offers more through scan when you purchase its full version. When free scanner detects issues, you can fix them using free manual repairs or you can decide to purchase the full version in order to fix them automatically.
Alternative Software
Different software has a different purpose. If you didn’t succeed in fixing corrupted files with Reimage, try running SpyHunter 5.
Alternative Software
Different software has a different purpose. If you didn’t succeed in fixing corrupted files with Intego, try running Combo Cleaner.

To remove Search.gg virus, follow these steps:

Delete Search.gg from Windows systems

The first thing that you want to do is to check your computer for suspicious software that you recently installed. If you can find some programs that were added without your knowledge, uninstall them.

  1. Click Start Control Panel Programs and Features (if you are Windows XP user, click on Add/Remove Programs). Click 'Start -> Control Panel -> Programs and Features' (if you are 'Windows XP' user, click on 'Add/Remove Programs').
  2. If you are Windows 10 / Windows 8 user, then right-click in the lower left corner of the screen. Once Quick Access Menu shows up, select Control Panel and Uninstall a Program. If you are 'Windows 10 / Windows 8' user, then right-click in the lower left corner of the screen. Once 'Quick Access Menu' shows up, select 'Control Panel' and 'Uninstall a Program'.
  3. Uninstall Search.gg and related programs
    Here, look for Search.gg or any other recently installed suspicious programs.
  4. Uninstall them and click OK to save these changes. Right click on each of suspicious entries and select 'Uninstall'
  5. Remove Search.gg from Windows shortcuts
    Right click on the shortcut of Mozilla Firefox and select Properties. Right click on browsers' icon and select 'Properties'
  6. Go to Shortcut tab and look at the Target field. Delete malicious URL that is related to your virus. Select 'Shortcut' tab and delete 'http://isearch.babylon.com...' or other suspicious URL

Repeat steps that are given above with all browsers' shortcuts, including Internet Explorer and Google Chrome. Make sure you check all locations of these shortcuts, including Desktop, Start Menu and taskbar.

Eliminate Search.gg from Mac OS X system

If your macOS is displaying some infection symptoms, proceed with the following guide:

Remove Search.gg from Applications folder:

  1. From the menu bar, select Go > Applications.
  2. In the Applications folder, look for Search.gg-related entries.
  3. Click on the app and drag it to Trash (or right-click and pick Move to Trash)Uninstall from Mac 1

To fully remove Search.gg, you need to access Application Support, LaunchAgents, and LaunchDaemons folders and delete relevant files:

  1. Select Go > Go to Folder.
  2. Enter /Library/Application Support and click Go or press Enter.
  3. In the Application Support folder, look for any dubious entries related to Search.gg and then delete them.
  4. Now enter /Library/LaunchAgents and /Library/LaunchDaemons folders the same way and terminate all the Search.gg-related entries.Uninstall from Mac 2

Get rid of Search.gg from Internet Explorer (IE)

Remove dangerous add-ons:

  1. Open Internet Explorer, click on the Gear icon (IE menu) on the top-right corner of the browser
  2. Pick Manage Add-ons.
  3. You will see a Manage Add-ons window. Here, look for Search.gg and other suspicious plugins. Click on these entries and select Disable.Remove add-ons from Internet Explorer

Change your homepage if it was altered:

  1. Open IE and click on the Gear icon.
  2. Select Internet Options.
  3. In the General tab, delete the Home page address and replace it by your preferred one (for example, Google.com).
  4. Click Apply and then select OK.Reset IE homepage

Delete temporary files:

  1. Press on the Gear icon and select Internet Options.
  2. Under Browsing history, click Delete…
  3. Select relevant fields and press Delete.Clear temporary files from Internet Explorer

Reset Internet Explorer:

  1. Click on Gear icon > Internet options and select Advanced tab.
  2. Select Reset.
  3. In the new window, check Delete personal settings and select Reset again to complete Search.gg removal.Reset Internet Explorer

Erase Search.gg virus from Microsoft Edge

Delete unwanted extensions from MS Edge:

  1. Select Menu (three horizontal dots at the top-right of the browser window) and pick Extensions.
  2. From the list, pick the Search.gg-related extension and click on the Gear icon.
  3. Click on Uninstall at the bottom.Remove extensions from Edge

Clear cookies and other browser data:

  1. Click on the Menu (three horizontal dots at the top-right of the browser window) and select Privacy & security.
  2. Under Clear browsing data, pick Choose what to clear.
  3. Select everything (apart from passwords, although you might want to include Media licenses as well, if applicable) and click on Clear.Clear Edge browsing data

Reset MS Edge if that above steps did not work:

  1. Press on Ctrl + Shift + Esc to open Task Manager.
  2. Click on More details arrow at the bottom of the window.
  3. Select Details tab.
  4. Now scroll down and locate every entry with Microsoft Edge name in it. Right-click on each of them and select End Task to stop MS Edge from running.Reset MS Edge

If this solution failed to help you, you need to use an advanced Edge reset method. Note that you need to backup your data before proceeding.

  1. Find the following folder on your computer: C:\\Users\\%username%\\AppData\\Local\\Packages\\Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge_8wekyb3d8bbwe.
  2. Press Ctrl + A on your keyboard to select all folders.
  3. Right-click on them and pick DeleteAdvanced MS Edge reset 1
  4. Now right-click on the Start button and pick Windows PowerShell (Admin).
  5. When the new window opens, copy and paste the following command, and then press Enter:

    Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers -Name Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register “$($_.InstallLocation)\\AppXManifest.xml” -VerboseAdvanced MS Edge reset 2

Instructions for Chromium-based Edge

Delete extensions from MS Edge (Chromium):

  1. Open Edge and click select Settings > Extensions.
  2. Delete unwanted extensions by clicking Remove.Remove extensions from Chromium Edge

Clear cache and site data:

  1. Click on Menu and go to Settings.
  2. Select Privacy and services.
  3. Under Clear browsing data, pick Choose what to clear.
  4. Under Time range, pick All time.
  5. Select Clear now.Clear browser data from Chroum Edge

Reset Chromium-based MS Edge:

  1. Click on Menu and select Settings.
  2. On the left side, pick Reset settings.
  3. Select Restore settings to their default values.
  4. Confirm with Reset.Reset Chromium Edge

Remove Search.gg from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

If Firefox was affected by the described browser hijacker, we suggest looking for its components in the browser and deleting them according to these instructions we prepared.

  1. Remove dangerous extensions
    Open Mozilla Firefox, click on the menu icon (top right corner) and select Add-ons Extensions. Click on menu icon and select 'Add-ons'
  2. Here, select Search.gg and other questionable plugins. Click Remove to delete these entries. Select 'Extensions' and look for malicious entries. Click 'Remove' to get rid of each of them
  3. Change your homepage if it was altered by virus:
    Click on the menu (top right corner), choose Options General.
  4. Here, delete malicious URL and enter preferable website or click Restore to default.
  5. Click OK to save these changes. When in 'General' tab, delete malicious URL from 'Home Page' section or click on 'Restore to Default' button. Click 'OK' to save changes
  6. Reset Mozilla Firefox
    Click on the Firefox menu on the top left and click on the question mark. Here, choose Troubleshooting Information. Click on menu icon and then on '?'. Select 'Troubleshooting Information'
  7. Now you will see Reset Firefox to its default state message with Reset Firefox button. Click this button for several times and complete Search.gg removal. Click on 'Reset Firefox' button for a couple of times

Uninstall Search.gg from Google Chrome

Delete every extension from Chrome that, in your opinion, shouldn't be on it. If it was added without your permission or knowledge, delete it without any hesitations.

  1. Delete malicious plugins
    Open Google Chrome, click on the menu icon (top right corner) and select Tools Extensions. Click on menu icon. Select 'Tools' and 'Extensions'
  2. Here, select Search.gg and other malicious plugins and select trash icon to delete these entries. Look for malicious entries and delete each of them by clicking on the Trash bin icon
  3. Change your homepage and default search engine if it was altered by your virus
    Click on menu icon and choose Settings.
  4. Here, look for the Open a specific page or set of pages under On startup option and click on Set pages. After clicking on menu and 'Settings', select 'Set pages'
  5. Now you should see another window. Here, delete malicious search sites and enter the one that you want to use as your homepage. Click 'X' to remove malicious URLs
  6. Click on menu icon again and choose Settings Manage Search engines under the Search section. When in 'Settings', select 'Manage search engines...'
  7. When in Search Engines..., remove malicious search sites. You should leave only Google or your preferred domain name. Click 'X' to remove malicious URLs
  8. Reset Google Chrome
    Click on menu icon on the top right of your Google Chrome and select Settings.
  9. Scroll down to the end of the page and click on Reset browser settings. When in 'Settings', scroll down to 'Reset browser settings' button and click on it
  10. Click Reset to confirm this action and complete Search.gg removal. Click on 'Reset' button to complete your removal

Delete Search.gg from Safari

  1. Remove dangerous extensions
    Open Safari web browser and click on Safari in menu at the top left of the screen. Once you do this, select Preferences. Click on 'Safari' and select 'Preferences'
  2. Here, select Extensions and look for Search.gg or other suspicious entries. Click on the Uninstall button to get rid each of them. Go to 'Extensions' and uninstall malicious add-ons
  3. Change your homepage if it was altered by virus:
    Open your Safari web browser and click on Safari in menu section. Here, select Preferences as it was displayed previously and select General.
  4. Here, look at the Homepage field. If it was altered by Search.gg, remove unwanted link and enter the one that you want to use for your searches. Remember to include the "http://" before typing in the address of the page. When in 'General', delete malicious URL and enter your desired domain name
  5. Reset Safari
    Open Safari browser and click on Safari in menu section at the top left of the screen. Here, select Reset Safari.... Click on 'Safari' and select 'Reset Safari...'
  6. Now you will see a detailed dialog window filled with reset options. All of those options are usually checked, but you can specify which of them you want to reset. Click the Reset button to complete Search.gg removal process. Select all options and click on 'Reset' button

Do not let government spy on you

The government has many issues in regards to tracking users' data and spying on citizens, so you should take this into consideration and learn more about shady information gathering practices. Avoid any unwanted government tracking or spying by going totally anonymous on the internet. 

You can choose a different location when you go online and access any material you want without particular content restrictions. You can easily enjoy internet connection without any risks of being hacked by using Private Internet Access VPN.

Control the information that can be accessed by government any other unwanted party and surf online without being spied on. Even if you are not involved in illegal activities or trust your selection of services, platforms, be suspicious for your own security and take precautionary measures by using the VPN service.

Backup files for the later use, in case of the malware attack

Computer users can suffer from data losses due to cyber infections or their own faulty doings. Ransomware can encrypt and hold files hostage, while unforeseen power cuts might cause a loss of important documents. If you have proper up-to-date backups, you can easily recover after such an incident and get back to work. It is also equally important to update backups on a regular basis so that the newest information remains intact – you can set this process to be performed automatically.

When you have the previous version of every important document or project you can avoid frustration and breakdowns. It comes in handy when malware strikes out of nowhere. Use Data Recovery Pro for the data restoration process.

About the author
Alice Woods
Alice Woods - Likes to teach users about virus prevention

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